Food & Drink

One-skillet side dishes and desserts

(Clockwise, from top left) pan-seared mushrooms with cream and dill; miso-and-honey-glazed carrots; sauteed spinach with oepitas and sesame seeds; and braised green beans with tomatoes.
(Clockwise, from top left) pan-seared mushrooms with cream and dill; miso-and-honey-glazed carrots; sauteed spinach with oepitas and sesame seeds; and braised green beans with tomatoes. Aya Brackett

All of these one-skillet sides can cook on the stove while the main dish is roasting, which means no jockeying for space and time in the oven. And your guests will want to save some room for this lemony dessert.

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Pan-seared mushrooms with cream and dill

A touch of sherry vinegar cuts the creaminess of this dish, which goes especially well with beef or lamb.

Serves 8

  •  1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 ounces shallots, peeled and halved lengthwise (quartered if large)
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1  1/2 pounds mixed mushrooms, such as shiitake, trumpet, oyster and cremini, halved or sliced into bite-size pieces
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
  •  2/3 cup heavy cream
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh dill

1. Heat a large skillet over medium; swirl in 1 tablespoon oil. Add shallots and cook, stirring occasionally, until crisp-tender and browned in places, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a plate.

2. Return skillet to medium-high heat. Swirl in 1 tablespoon each oil and butter. Add one-third of mushrooms, season with salt and pepper, and spread in a single layer. Cook, undisturbed, until beginning to brown on bottoms, about 3 minutes. Stir and continue cooking until tender and browned, about 2 minutes more. Transfer to plate with shallots.

3. Cook remaining mushrooms in remaining oil and butter in two more batches. Return cooked mushrooms and shallots with any accumulated juices to skillet. Stir in vinegar, then cream, and simmer until thickened slightly, about 2 minutes. Stir in dill, season with salt and pepper, and serve.

Nutritional analysis per serving: 189 calories, 18 grams fat, 8 grams carbohydrates, 1 gram protein, 39 milligrams cholesterol, 11 milligrams sodium, trace dietary fiber, 82 percent of calories from fat.

Braised green beans with tomatoes

Slicing them in half on the bias allows them to drink up the tomato-infused liquid as they simmer.

Serves 8

  • 5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, halved and thinly sliced (2 cups)
  • 1  1/2 pounds green beans, trimmed and halved crosswise on the bias
  • 1 can (28 ounces) whole peeled tomatoes, drained and coarsely chopped (2 cups)
  • 1 cup low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
  • 2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh oregano leaves
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

In a large straight-sided skillet or a wide, shallow pot, heat 2 tablespoons oil over medium-high. Add onion and cook until translucent, about 3 minutes. Add beans, tomatoes, broth and oregano, stirring to combine; season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium, cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, until beans are very tender, 18 to 20 minutes. Stir in remaining 3 tablespoons oil and season with salt and pepper; serve.

Nutritional analysis per serving: 133 calories, 9 grams fat, 13 grams carbohydrates, 4 grams protein, no cholesterol, 225 milligrams sodium, 3 grams dietary fiber, 55 percent of calories from fat.

Miso-and-honey-glazed carrots

If you grew up eating them cooked in butter and sugar, try this honey-glazed recipe, which gets a salty, umami edge from miso and brightness from Meyer lemons.

Serves: 8

  • 2 pounds carrots, peeled and halved lengthwise
  • 4 strips Meyer lemon peel, plus  1/4 cup fresh Meyer lemon juice (from 1 to 2 lemons)
  • 2 tablespoons white or yellow miso
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • Kosher salt

Combine carrots, lemon peel and juice, miso, butter, honey and 1 cup water in a large skillet; season generously with salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium, cover and simmer until carrots are crisp-tender, 10 to 12 minutes. Uncover, increase heat to medium-high, and continue simmering, stirring occasionally, until carrots are tender and liquid is reduced to a glaze that evenly coats carrots, 8 to 10 minutes more. Serve immediately.

Nutritional analysis per serving: 91 calories, 3 grams fat, 14 grams carbohydrates, 2 grams protein, 8 milligrams cholesterol, 201 milligrams sodium, 3 grams dietary fiber, 32 percent of calories from fat.

Sauteed spinach with pepitas and sesame seeds

Save baby spinach for salads — for this recipe, a heartier variety is best. Look for leaves that are thick and curly, which will retain more texture and flavor when sauteed.

Serves 8

  • 2 ounces pepitas
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic (from 2 to 3 cloves)
  • 2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger (from a 2-inch piece)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 2 pounds curly-leaf spinach, large stems removed
  • 2 tablespoons champagne or white-wine vinegar

1. Heat a large skillet over medium. Add pepitas and toast, shaking pan occasionally, until they begin to swell and darken slightly, about 2 minutes. Add sesame seeds and continue toasting until pepitas and sesame seeds turn golden brown in places, about 1 minute more. Transfer to a plate; let cool completely.

2. Return skillet to medium-high; swirl in 2 tablespoons oil. Add garlic and ginger, season with salt and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add enough spinach to fill skillet. Cook, stirring until spinach begins to collapse. Add remaining spinach, a handful at a time, until all is just wilted. Stir in vinegar and cook 30 seconds. Remove from heat. Stir in remaining 1 tablespoon oil; season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with toasted pepitas and sesame seeds just before serving.

Nutritional analysis per serving: 119 calories, 7 grams fat, 9 grams carbohydrates, 5 grams protein, no cholesterol, 100 milligrams sodium, 4 grams dietary fiber, 55 percent of calories from fat.

Lemony snow pudding with tarragon crème anglaise

Imagine biting into a cloud — that’s what this “snow,” made with fluffy meringue set lightly with gelatin and flavored with lemon, tastes like. To serve, float scoops of it on pools of creamy vanilla-tarragon sauce. The fine-leaved French variety of tarragon is preferable here; Mexican is tougher and stronger in flavor. If only Mexican tarragon is available, use two sprigs instead of three.

Serves 10 to 12

  • 1 tablespoon unflavored gelatin (from two  1/4 -ounce packages)
  •  1/3 cup cold water
  •  3/4 cup boiling water
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest, plus  1/2 cup fresh juice (from 3 to 4 lemons)
  • 4 large egg whites, room temperature, plus 6 large yolks
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 3 tarragon sprigs (6 inches each), plus small tender leaves for serving
  • 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise, seeds scraped
  •  1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1. In a small bowl, sprinkle gelatin over cold water; let stand until softened, 5 minutes. Add boiling water and 1 cup sugar; stir until sugar has dissolved and mixture is clear. Stir in lemon zest and juice. Set mixture over a bowl of ice and let stand, stirring occasionally, until it becomes syrupy, about 20 minutes. (If gelatin sets too much, microwave it in 10-second increments and whisk until smooth.)

2. In a large bowl, beat egg whites on medium-high to soft peaks, 3 to 4 minutes. Add gelatin mixture and continue beating until tripled in volume and thick enough to hold a ribbon on top of mixture when beater is lifted from bowl, 7 to 9 minutes. Transfer pudding to a large serving bowl and refrigerate until set, at least 4 hours and up to 2 days.

3. Combine milk,  1/2 cup sugar, tarragon sprigs, vanilla bean and seeds, and salt in a saucepan. Heat over medium, stirring occasionally, until scalding and small bubbles form at edges of pan, about 12 minutes (do not let boil). Remove from heat, cover and let steep 10 minutes.

4. In a heatproof bowl, whisk yolks with remaining  1/2 cup sugar to combine. Remove tarragon and vanilla bean from milk mixture, then slowly whisk milk mixture into yolk mixture. Return to saucepan and cook over medium, stirring, until mixture thickens slightly and a thermometer reads 170 degrees, 5 to 7 minutes. Strain crème anglaise through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl and refrigerate until cold, at least 1 hour or, stored in an airtight container, up to 2 days.

5. Pour 3 to 4 tablespoons crème anglaise into bottom of each serving dish. Top with a large spoonful of pudding; sprinkle with a few tarragon leaves and serve.

Nutritional analysis per serving, based on 10: 201 calories, 2 grams fat, 45 grams carbohydrates, 3 grams protein, 7 milligrams cholesterol, 78 milligrams sodium, trace dietary fiber, 7 percent of calories from fat.